An upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday dared beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to move a confidence motion in the state Assembly on Monday to prove that his shaky coalition government has a majority.
"Since Kumaraswamy himself offered to seek a trust vote and no business could be conducted in the House without proving he has a majority, he should request the Speaker to allow him to move it on Monday when the session resumes," opposition BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
To clear the air of uncertainty and end the political crisis gripping the southern state since 16 rebel legislators of the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) allies resigned from their Assembly seats, Kumaraswamy on Friday told Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar that he was ready to seek a trust vote or face a no-confidence motion if the BJP moves it against him during the 10-day monsoon session till July 26.
"As the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Speaker to maintain status quo on the resignations of 10 rebel lawmakers till Tuesday (July 16) when it resumes hearing in the case, let Kumaraswamy hold the floor test on Monday and prove he has the majority in the House, as the 16 rebels have decided not to attend the session as evident from their absence on Friday," said Yeddyurappa.
In the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated without voting rights, the combined strength of the ruling allies is 116, with the support of one BSP legislator, which is three more than the halfway mark of 113 to win the trust vote against 107 of the BJP, including the support of two independents.
"If the 16 legislators, including 13 of the Congress and three of the JD-S are not present in the House when the confidence motion is put to vote, the government will be defeated with its strength reduced to 100 (65+34+1), including the BSP but excluding the Speaker as against 107 of ours," BJP spokesman G. Madhusudana told IANS here.
Even as the beleaguered ruling allies wooed the rebels through the day to withdraw their resignations and attend the session, five of them from the Congress filed petitions in the apex court, seeking its direction to the Speaker to accept their resignations too forthwith along with that of 10 other rebels whose joint writs are being heard by it since Thursday.
The five Congress rebels are Anand Singh, Munirathna Naidu, .Roshan Baig, MTB Nagaraj and K.Sudhakar who submitted their resignations to the Speaker in the prescribed format.
"As the opposition leader, I will advise the Speaker at the Business Advisory Committee meeting on Monday to allow the Chief Minister to move the trust vote and conduct the floor test on the same day to ascertain if he has the majority in the House," asserted Yeddyurappa.